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Product Description

When Basso frames first started crossing the pond to the United States, they had an impressive calling card. The seat cluster. It was unique, and more importantly, a model of efficiency. It both looked good and saved weight. It’s still a looker, still saves weight, and is remarkable for how it still helps set the Viper apart from its steel-tubed competition.

The interest in steel bikes is fueled by many things. Yes, retro-cool is part of the appeal. But it’s also about the ride. ‘Steel is real’ is a tired cliché. But it captures something inimitable about the material. It’s not the stiffest, it’s not the lightest. But it delivers a feel unlike any other material, more compliant, but still stiff enough for most riding needs. Even the sound the frame makes when you ride over rough roads is more reassuring. The CroMoly tubeset is from Mannesmann, with the sizes and butts dictated by Basso. Basso uses silver brazing to join the tubes via lugs.

The Viper hits all the hallmarks of classic steel. There is a crowned fork. The steerer tube has a 1” diameter. The top tube is parallel to the ground. The tubes are slender, elegant, refined, almost more art than machine. The cable runs are external (sure you can go electronic, but it’s antithetic to the vibe). There’s a cable guide under the bottom bracket. It’s lugged. It takes a clamp-on front derailleur. The bottom bracket is BSA (English) threaded. There are downtube braze-ons for either downtube shift levers or as stops for mounting bar-ends or brake-shift levers. The two concessions to modern design in the frameset are the vertical dropouts, which are lighter and simpler than old-school horizontal dropouts, and the 30mm diameter seat post. This reduces weight and adds stiffness.

The geometry is taken from Basso’s bikes of old, with the seat angle getting shallower and the head angle getting steeper as the frames get larger. They’ve designed in room for tires up to 28mm in width to fit. You’ll also notice that the head tubes seem shorter on the Viper than on Basso’s carbon-fiber bikes. That’s a result of needing an external headset rather than an internal one.

Basso decided on a two-tone paint job to call attention to the fact that the Viper is different than the pack. They mix glossy paint with matte to further the difference, and they paint the head lugs a contrasting color so you know without doubt this is steel. Basso has even gone so far as to resurrect their classic head tube badge to adorn the frame.

The Basso Viper captures both an aesthetic and ride that is not only seductively timeless, but a joy to experience, no matter your perspective.


  • Bottom Bracket Type BSA 68mm, English Thread
  • Fork Mannesmann CroMoly tubing made for Basso. Silver brased welding 
  • Frame Material Mannesmann CroMoly tubing made for Basso. Silver brased welding 
  • Front Derailleur Type 31.8mm Clamp-On Required
  • Headset 1" Threadless Required
  • Seatpost 30.0mm Required
  • Stem Basso Viper Frameset
*Specifications are subject to change.


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